|Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left)|
and US President Barack Obama (right)
By Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 24, 2014 – President Barack Obama, making the first state visit by an American president to Japan in nearly two decades, made clear today the United States would be obligated to come to Japan’s defense in any confrontation with China over islands both nations claim in the East China Sea.
During a joint press conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Obama said treaty obligations to defend Japan would apply if hostilities broke out between Japan and China over the disputed islands known in Japan as the Senkaku and as the Diaoyu in China.
“Let me reiterate that our treaty commitment to Japan’s security is absolute, and Article 5 covers all territories under Japan’s administration, including the Senkaku islands,” said Obama, while making clear that the United States does not take sides in the dispute.